Week of October 4, 2016


The 20th Annual Fall Festival will be held this Friday, October 7 (rain date October 14). Entertainment provided by MLWGS’s very talented students will begin at 3:45 and end at 8:00 p.m. Held on the front steps and lawn of the school, facing Lombardy Street, the Fall Festival offers a wide variety of activities, entertainment, and food! While there is no admittance to this global event, and all the entertainment is free, tickets are needed to purchase various food items, crafts, and some games. All are welcome to the Festival: current students, their families, younger siblings, former students and families, neighborhood residents, and friends of the school!

This year the Fall Festival Committee, the PTSA, and the Governor’s School Foundation is excited to welcome back the alumni from 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011. At the Governor’s School Foundation table, there will be memorabilia from the first Fall Festival 20 years ago! Attendees will also be able to meet some of the parents who started it all and hear their stories! At the time the school was called the Governor’s School for Government and International Studies, and a group of parents decided their hard-working kids needed to just have some fun. They surprised them by showing up one day and setting up a festival. There was a dunking tank and all the teachers who volunteered to be dunked wore bathing caps and bathrobes to class. In 2001 the school moved to Maggie Walker but the Fall Festival continued. Today, although parent volunteers are still critical to the success of Fall Festival, all the food and entertainment is provided by the students as a fund raiser for their clubs and organizations!

Parents are still needed to volunteer and lend items for the festival. To see how you can help, please follow this link: 

Tickets are also still available for pre-purchase. Just follow this google.doc:

Finally, parking for the Festival is available at the James River Passenger Center / Bus Depot Lot. The lot is located just a block away from Maggie Walker, at the corner of West Leigh and North Allen Street. They have requested that cars are not parked on the grass!


Time            Group
3:45 PM         Jui Paithane
3:55 PM         MLWGS Dance Team
4:05 PM         Orchestra I
4:20 PM         Orchestra II
4:35 PM         American Sign Language 3
4:40 PM         Chorus
4:55 PM         Jazz Band I
5:10 PM         Jazz Band II
5:25 PM         Jazz Improv
5:40 PM         Cosmic
5:50 PM         Bhangra Indian Dance Team
6:00 PM         Mairead & Kiera
6:10 PM         Deadbeats
6:20 PM         Cole Mier
6:30 PM         Dana & Jamie
6:40 PM         Appalachian Heritage Music Club
6:50 PM         Raghda Labban
7:00 PM         MLWGS Drama Club
7:10 PM         Extraordinary Commission
7:20 PM         Wombo Combo
7:30 PM         Mikaela Benway
7:40 PM         Meese
7:50 PM         Infinite Monkey Theorem


Minding Your Mind representatives spoke to students last week during school-wide assemblies.  In the coming weeks, students will be able to participate in eight follow-up lunchtime sessions led by professional staff from the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation.  Topics will include stress, anxiety and depression, substance abuse, negative and positive coping skills, active listening, mindfulness, and establishing boundaries.  

Students may signup through Itslearning for any or all of these sessions. If you have any questions or concerns about this program, please contact either Paige Hawkins (Health/ P.E., ext. 1440) or Karl Zweerink (Counseling Department, ext. 3210). 


The October Senior Newsletter is now available on the School Counseling Website (https://sites.google.com/a/gsgis.k12.va.us/mlw-school-counseling/2011-2012-newsletters). This newsletter contains college-related reminders and a listing of scholarships with approaching deadlines. The latest newsletter was distributed to students in their English classes last week. Scholarship information for seniors is also available on the School Counseling website (https://sites.google.com/a/gsgis.k12.va.us/mlw-school-counseling/college-admissions-information-1/scholarships-financial-aid) and in Naviance (https://connection.naviance.com/mlwgs). Contact your child’s counselor if you would like to view the Naviance scholarship database and need your registration code. Scholarships are still being added to this database on a monthly basis, most with direct links to the applications. Hard-copy applications are scanned and attached to the scholarship description as a PDF. Please note that all deadlines posted on Naviance or in the Newsletter are subject to change as organizations are still sending us updated information for this school year. Check the organization’s website for the most current information. Please contact Rachel Loving in the School Counseling Office with scholarship questions.


In alignment with MLWGS’s school’s strategic plan goal of expanding support for students’ social and emotional wellbeing, Koru Mindfulness, a class piloted during two study blocks last spring, will be offered during each study block this year.

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing full attention to what’s happening in the present moment without judgment.  Among other benefits, it can be a powerful way to reduce stress, and improve focus and productivity. Koru Mindfulness, a program developed by Holly Rogers, M.D., and Margaret Maytan, M.D., to support student wellbeing at Duke University, equips students with a variety of ways to apply mindfulness in their daily lives, including breath awareness, mindful walking, and mindful eating. Ms. DeGroat, the librarian for MLWGS, is a certified Koru Mindfulness instructor and will be facilitating the classes.

There will be nothing to read or watch for homework, but students will be expected to…

·         Commit to attend all four 75-minute sessions of the class held during their study block.
·         Practice the skills learned each week, keeping a brief log of their practice.
·         Complete brief pre-and post-program surveys.

A minimum of four participants will be needed to hold a class. The maximum number of students in a class is twelve.

Specific dates for each class are as follows (class meetings start of the beginning of the specified study blocks and last 75 minutes):

·         6th block: Thursdays 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, and 11/3
·         8th block: Thursdays 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, and 11/3

·         1st block: Wednesdays, 10/26, 11/2, 11/9, and 11/16
·         5th block: Wednesdays, 10/26, 11/2, 11/9, and 11/16

·         2nd block: Tuesdays, 11/15, 11/22, 11/29, and 12/6
·         4th block: Tuesdays, 11/15, 11/22, 11/29, and 12/6

·         3rd block: Mondays, 11/21, 11/28, 12/5, and 12/12
·         7th block: Mondays, 11/21, 11/28, 12/5, and 12/12

The sign-up period for each class will close two days before the first class meeting.  Classes without at least four participants will be canceled.

Interested students should contact Ms. DeGroat in the library or sign up online at http://bit.ly/mlwgskoru


High School Diplomats is a free 10-day cultural exchange program at Princeton University for sophomores and juniors. Applications will be available from October 1st-January 8, 2017. Please visit www.highschooldiplomats.com for more information and to apply to the program. 

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium would like to share the following information about the following FREE NASA-related programs for Virginia's high school students interested in STEM:

For high school juniors, Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) is an interactive online learning course with a space mission design and human space flight theme, culminating in a one-week residential Summer Academy at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton for those students who qualify. Offered at no cost to the student, VASTS consists of eight modules and a final project to be completed from November 2016 through May 2017 under the guidance of licensed master educators. Based on success in the online coursework, students may be selected to attend a Summer Academy where they interact with NASA scientists, engineers and technologists to design a human mission to Mars.  For program information and application, please visit http://vasts.spacegrant.org. The deadline for student applications is October 30th, 2016

For high school juniors and seniors, Virginia Earth System Science Scholars (VESSS) is an interactive, on-line Earth System Science Course featuring NASA scientific research and data. The course will be offered for dual enrollment college credit (statewide through TNCC) for high school juniors and seniors beginning in spring semester 2017. Please direct students or other faculty to the website for program information and application, http://vsgc.odu.edu/VESSS/. The deadline for student applications is October 30th, 2016.

The Virginia Space Coast Scholars (VSCS) is a program for sophomores focusing on the earth and airborne science, engineering, and technology integral to current missions at NASA Wallops Flight Facility and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. This dynamic (and FREE) program, designed by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC), inspires students who possess technical and/or scientific interests and are motivated to learn about the many different opportunities that NASA offers.

  • FREE Program for 10th Grade Students
  • Online modules covering NASA aircraft, balloon, and sounding rocket missions launched or managed at Wallops Flight Facility
  • Online course runs from December 2016 through April 2017
  • Highly successful students will be selected for a week long Summer Academy at NASA Wallops Flight Facility (Chincoteague, VA)

The deadline for student applications is October 30th, 2016.
http://vscs.spacegrant.org/ for application and more information 


On Thursday, October 13, there will be a junior class meeting in the auditorium at 11:25 to distribute information on planning for senior seminars and mentorships next year. Parents are welcome to attend this session during the day. Alternatively, there will also be a parent information session in the auditorium at 6:15 p.m. on the same day (October 13). Please feel free to join us at either the lunchtime or evening session. Any questions should be directed to Sharon Parker at sparker@gsgis.k12.va.us.


The Governor's School Foundation is so pleased to share that the fall Phone-a-thon yielded $48,550 in financial commitments to the 2016-17 Annual Fund!  Special thanks to all of the callers who joined us!  If you did not receive a call and have not yet had a chance to make your Annual Fund gift, you can do so online at http://www.governorsschoolfoundation.org/donate/.  We are so grateful for your support!


Get ready to welcome back to the classes of 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2011!  All four classes are part of Reunions Weekend 2016, which kicks off at Fall Festival, then continues into Friday night at Bottoms Up starting at 9 p.m.  Saturday events are scheduled for Triple Crossing Brewery and C Street.  We're particularly excited to have the second-ever graduating class here for its 20th reunion.  Special thanks to Misty Clark ('96), Khiem Tran ('06), and Rachel Savoy ('06) for heading up the planning efforts. We have the best alumni in the world!


Latest issue of the Jabberwock, the MLWGS student newspaper, is available here: